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The convergence of in-person and virtual sales in financial services

Once upon a time, a day in the life of a wholesaler consisted of in-person engagements with financial advisors. That changed in 2020 as organizations were forced to adopt digital-first strategies. As cities and states reopen and organizations slowly return to in-person activities, one thing remains clear: digital engagement is here to stay.

Human interaction and in-person relationship building will always have their place. But with multiple wholesalers competing for a financial advisor’s attention, differentiation is even more important. 

So, how do wholesalers leave an impression that lasts longer than a quarterly in-person visit? In this post, I’ll share tips that wholesalers can use to create meaningful digital experiences to grow their relationships with financial advisors. 

In-person activities should influence digital communication

In-person client engagement was never going away fully. They were placed on ice for the past year and a half. During that time off, agents have learned new ways to engage clients using digital engagement tools. 

In-person outings establish authentic human connections, but digital engagements can help you stay top-of-mind. 

The return to in-person activities like dinners and golf outings are on the horizon. Even still, digital outreach will remain a staple in a wholesaler’s toolkit. In-person outings establish authentic human connections, but digital engagements can help you stay top-of-mind. 

Think of in-person and digital engagements as two complementary activities. In-person interactions are opportunities to ask questions, listen, and learn. The details that surface in these conversations give insights into your advisor’s objectives. 

When done well, in-person insights translate into meaningful digital outreach. Well-maintained content management systems give wholesalers easily accessible and relevant content at their fingertips. Providing personalized content keeps you top-of-mind with financial advisors because they are valuable resources to meet goals. 

Making digital engagement impactful boils down to one question: how will it help my advisors build their relationships with their clients?

Scale relationships with your client base 

The return to the road is an opportunity to strengthen relationships. But a day here and a day there isn’t enough time to build trust and rapport with financial advisors. 

The modern wholesaler will rely on digital engagement to scale their business. Identifying opportunities to connect with advisors outside of the quarterly visit nurtures relationships. 

Begin to think of the similarities across your client base. Maybe you work with a cluster of clients in a region; or advisors who specialize in a specific product or solution. Curating content experiences for financial advisors with similar profiles or interests can help scale your digital engagements. 

Digital engagements also offer something that print and in-person may not: data. Every email or social media post you share generates data. Understanding what content is opened or resonates with your advisors can help you optimize your digital engagement and strengthen relationships over time. 

Find the best digital engagement tool to complement your in-person activities

The vehicles you use to reach your advisors between visits will vary depending on your organization. Whether it’s email or social media, determine the best channel for connecting with your financial advisors online. 

Wherever you conduct digital outreach, remember to prioritize value. The most important differentiator is creating business value for an advisor. Whether you’re sharing third-party content on social media or company content in an email, make sure it helps your financial advisors advance their goals. 

Many of the digital-first tactics that wholesalers developed over the course of 2020 will retain relevance this year and beyond. As in-person meetings return, find the opportunities to strengthen digital engagement and stay top-of-mind all year round. 

If you’d like to learn more about combining in-person and digital engagement, join us for our upcoming webinar, Merging Best Practices: The Intersection of In-Person and Virtual Selling